I spent some more time working on dynamo-browse over the weekend (I have to now that I’ve got a user-base 😄).

No real changes to scripting yet. It’s still only me that’s using it at the moment, and I’m hoping to keep it this way until I’m happy enough with the API. I think we getting close though. I haven’t made the changes discussed in the previous post about including the builtin plugin object. I’m thinking that instead of a builtin object, I’ll use another module instead, maybe something like the following:

const ext = require("audax:ext");

ext.registerCommand("thing", () => console.log("Do the thing"));

The idea is that the ext module will provide access to the extension points that the script can implement, such as registering new commands, etc.

At this stage, I’m not sure if I want to add the concept of namespaces to the ext module name. Could help in making it explicit that the user is accessing the hooks of “this” extension, as opposed to others. It may leave some room for some nice abilities, like provide a way to send messages to other extensions:

// com.example.showTables
// This extension will handle events which will prompt to show tables. 
const ext = require("audax:ext/this");

ext.on("show-tables", () => {

// com.example.useShowTables
// This extension will use the "show-tables" message "com.example.showTables"
const showTables = require("audax:ext/com.example.showTables");


Then again, this might be unnecessary given that the JavaScript module facilities are there.

Anyway, what I actually did was start work on making queries actually run as queries against the DynamoDB table. In the released version, running a query (i.e. pressing ? and entering a query expression) will actually perform a table scan. Nothing against scans: they do what they need to do. But hardly the quickest way to get rows from DynamoDB if you know the partition and sort key.

So that’s what I’m working on now. Running a query of the form pk = "something" and sk = "else" where pk and sk are the partition and sort keys of the table will now call the dynamodb.Query API. This also works with the “begins with” operator: pk = "something" and sk ^= "prefix". Since sk is the sort key, this will be executed as part of a query to DynamoDB.

This also works if you were to swap the keys around, as in sk = "else" and pk = "something". Surprisingly the Go SDK that I’m using does not support allow expressions like this: you must have the partition key before the sort key if you’re using KeyAnd. This touches on one of the design goals I have for queries: the user shouldn’t need to care how the expression actually produces the result. If it can do so by running an actual query against the table, then it will; if not, it will do a scan. Generally, the user shouldn’t care either way: just get me the results in the most efficient way you can think of!

That said, it might be necessary for the user to control this to an extent, such as requiring the use of a scan if the planner would normally go for a query. I may add some control to this in the expression language to support this. But these should be, as a rule, very rarely used.

Anyway, that’s the biggest change that’s happening. There is something else regarding expressions that I’m in the process of working on now. I’ll touch on that in another blog post.